The Georgian Gallery

George I 1714-1727
George II 1727-1760
George III 1760-1820

For over 100 years, taking up most of the 18th century, is the remarkable period we call The Georgian Period. When the crisis of succession to the English Throne emerged after the death of Queen Anne without children in 1714, the throne was offered to the closest Protestant relative, George of Hannover.

Hannover is of course part of modern-day Germany; this ‘English King’ came to the throne without a word of English! In order to be able to run the country as required, the post of Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Ministers was established – using the ‘locals’ in a Parliament that still exists today. His son, George, was better suited. Under his guidance, Britain expanded dramatically across the globe, establishing a trade network that brought goods from far & wide to the British Isles. George III was happy to follow in the same theme, and Britain became the destination – and source for – a vast amount of products. This is the source of the Georgian Antiques we love to this day.

Georgian 'Shell' pattern Sterling Silver
Georgian ‘Shell’ pattern Sterling Silver, London 1809

The ‘Georgian Era’ change in England over the extent of the 18th century was remarkable: it saw the emergence of the British Empire, unmatched in power and size arguably even in the modern day. The securing of India as a colony was an immense source of wealth, and once the Industrial Revolution took root in Britain, science and production advanced on all fronts. The wealth produced from new enterprises led to steadily increasing numbers of people with money to spend – and as a result, the Arts world exploded into full bloom.
For example, with the invention of the weaving machines, a wealthy class of mill-owners emerged. They demanded luxury fittings for their magnificent mansions they constructed – and so the furniture makers, the glass blowers, the silversmiths, and the porcelain producers were able to find a huge market for their products.

Set of Four Georgian Wine Glasses, c.1750
Set of Four Georgian Wine Glasses, c.1750

The material culture of this period is readily available here in Australia, despite only having the smallest of population from the point of colonisation in 1788. This is due to the appeal of the Georgian aesthetic to the wealthy population as the colony expanded in the 19th century. The majority of the population continued to be from the British Isles; by the time Australia became independent in 1901, there was an engrained nostalgia for the ‘old country’. This is evident in the architecture, with a great many Georgian style houses of all sizes being built, and their interiors were furnished in a similar Georgian manner. A great quantity of Georgian pieces came to Australia throughout the 20th century.

A remarkable George III tallboy, circa 1770

There were 18th century ‘family heirlooms’ brought out with settlers from the earliest period – and with the rise of ‘Collecting’ in the latter 19th century, shipments of Art & Antiques flowed steadily to Australia where they were used to create the ambience of English Culture, artificially inserted into what was still a very young country. As the Antiques trade grew, Georgian furniture was the most desired amongst the new collectors of Australia – being such a young country, there was plenty of Victorian wares already present, but a lack of 18th century items. Today, there is still a small number of people who appreciate the design & quality of these pieces. The simplicity of design, quality of execution, and classical proportions continue to express the sophistication of those who enjoy the Georgian Era antiques.

Gold Anchor Chelsea plate with profiles, mazarine blue & rich gilding, c. 1765-0
Gold Anchor Chelsea plate, c. 1760, at Moorabool Antiques

Moorabool always keeps a good stock of genuine Georgian Furniture, Silver, Glass, and Ceramics.

Georgian Furniture

Georgian Glass

Georgian Silver

Georgian Ceramics

Note: we have only provided a taste of the incredible variety and volume of Georgian Ceramics; we suggest you go to our ‘Ceramics’ stock section and have a browse there.